The Grizzlies will try for their seventh straight win over the Clippers when they return to FedEx Forum for a quick two-game homestand.
Memphis concluded its 2-2 road trip with a 109-102 loss to Phoenix on Thursday. However, Fratello felt a lot better about the loss than he did after the Grizzlies’ disappointing performance in a 109-99 defeat to Golden State on Wednesday.
“Overall, for us there’s a lot of good I saw coming out of this game,” said Fratello, who is 7-6 since he took over as coach of the Grizzlies on Dec. 2. “It’s not a win, but we have to try to build on it.”
Mike Miller scored 22 points and Jason Williams had 19 of his 21 in the second half. Pau Gasol added 19 points for the Grizzlies, who were without Lorenzen Wright (sore right knee) and Bonzi Wells (bruised ribs).
The Grizzlies started their road trip with a 92-82 victory over the Clippers on Dec. 19.
Gasol led four players in double figures with 20 points, and pulled down eight rebounds. The 7-foot power forward averaged 19.3 points and 9.5 boards against the Clippers last season as the Grizzlies earned their first season-series sweep.
Fratello has had great success coaching against the Clippers, winning 22 of 25 games. He was 12-2 in eight seasons with Atlanta and 9-1 in six seasons with Cleveland.
Memphis has won four in a row over Los Angeles at home and leads the all-time series 20-17.
Corey Maggette returned from a groin injury and had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the Clippers’ 96-79 loss to Houston on Sunday, their seventh defeat in their last nine overall.
Guard Marko Jaric, the team leader in assists, was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with a right foot sprain.
STANDINGS; Clippers - 4th place, 11 GB, Pacific Division. Grizzlies - 4th place, 10 1/2 GB, Southwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Clippers - Maggette, 21.7 ppg; Brand, 8.5 rpg; Jaric, 6.4 apg. Grizzlies - Gasol, 18.7 ppg and 8.8 rpg; Williams, 6 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Grizzlies, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 19; Grizzlies, 92-82. At Los Angeles, Williams scored 10 of his 17 points in the final seven minutes. Maggette led the Clippers with 22 points and Brand added 19 and 12 rebounds.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Clippers - 4-6 on the road; Grizzlies - 7-7 at home.
INJURIES: Clippers - G Jaric (foot); C Mamadou N’diaye (back); G Shaun Livingston (knee); G Kerry Kittles (back). Grizzlies - F Brian Cardinal (ankle); G Andre Emmett (knee); G Antonio Burks (finger).